Dundalk Youths’ charge up the DDSL U18 Super League table continues at pace following this 6-2 demolition of Tolka Rovers at Oriel Park on Sunday morning.
After a somewhat stop start beginning to the season, Alan Browne’s side are now well in the shake up at the top of the Harry Boland U18 Division.
The Youths were looking to build on their impressive win in Malahide seven days previously and they got off to the perfect start, hitting two goals in the opening quarter of an hour.
The first arrived after eight minutes. Sean Matthews, who possesses a sweet left foot, curled in a vicious free-kick and it sailed past a host of bodies, allowing Adam O’Connor to stoop down at the back post and head home.
Tolka Rovers had still to make an impression by the time they found themselves two goals behind five minutes later. Good work by Pauric McGowan in the penalty area created the opportunity and his ball across the face of goal was swept home in emphatic fashion by Matthews.
Goal number three came in the 25th minute after a brief spell of territorial pressure for the visitors.
It was the goal of the game.
A Dundalk attack saw them move into the final third of the pitch and Aaron Boyle latched onto a half clearance to smash a wonderful dipping volley over Tolka goalkeeper Darragh Dixon from close to 30-yards to draw huge applause from the crowd in attendance.
The home side pushed for another and Robbie Macken forced Dixon into a save with a long range free before the Lilywhites winger screwed another effort wide after a quick Frank Osadebe free-kick had set Adam O’Connor away on the right flank.
Tolka showed signs of life and they almost pulled one back in the 26th minute. Left-back Ryan Kane danced his way to the byline before clipping the ball back for Colin Eccles but the Rovers player found the angle too difficult and his hooked shot went high and wide.
The visitors went close again three minutes later. Stephen O’Donoghue got in behind Frank Osadebe but Dundalk goalkeeper Fergal Sheekey was quick off his line to narrow the angle and make a fine stop with Thomas Murphy looping the rebound over the top.
The game was in full flow at this stage and Dundalk went close to making it 4-0 just two minutes later. Pauric McGowan’s ball found Sean Matthews in a central position. He showed great awareness, deftly heading the ball into Boyle’s path, but the striker’s fantastically hit half-volley just went wide of the post.
The young Lilywhites would not be denied though and the result was put to bed five minutes before the break. McGowan turned on the turbo to leave Jordan Kavanagh in his wake and, despite the narrow angle, he smashed a fabulous left footed effort across Dixon into the bottom corner.
The goals continued to flow and Tolka Rovers pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. A ball from left to right was knocked down by Ryan Kane and Eccles got enough purchase on his effort to lift it over Sheekey for yet another fine finish.
The second-half was a much quieter affair but it still produced three goals and a sending-off.
Lilywhites centre-back Conor McCoy headed wide from a Matthews corner in the 61st minute but it was a rare sighting on goal in the opening period.
Boyle continued to pose a threat up front for Dundalk and he won the penalty that led to the fifth goal, going down after Jordan Kavanagh hung out a leg; Cody Magill casually stroking the penalty past Dixon.
Dundalk always looked a threat and half-time substitute Anton Reilly guided a header just wide before another substitute, Gavin Gaffey, tested Dixon with a stinging effort just seconds after being introduced.
Tolka Rovers were reduced to 10 men when Jordan Kavanagh was dismissed by referee Colin Halligan for a second bookable offence and Dundalk took full advantage when Magill squeezed a left footed shot past Dixon after good work by Gaffey in the run up.
The entertainment carried on right until the death and James Barry was desperately unlucky to hit the underside of the crossbar with a beautiful free-kick that had Dundalk sub keeper Conor Callan beaten all ends up.
Tolka substitute Conor Maguire rounded off the scoring when he stole in at the back post to guide the ball home in stoppage time to make it 6-2.
DUNDALK YOUTHS: Fergal Sheekey (Conor Callan 81); Adam O’Connor (Ciaran O’Connell 77), Frank Osadebe, Conor McCoy, Fergal McDonald (Anton Reilly HT); Robbie Macken (Liam Keenan 65), James Renaghan, Cody Magill, Sean Matthews (Gavin Gaffey 74); Aaron Boyle, Pauric McGowan.
REFEREE: Colin Halligan.